Valentines Day or not, chocolate is most everyone’s favorite treat and lately it has attained the status, along with leafy greens and flax seed, as a health food. A piece of dark chocolate can even help you lose weight, according to David Wolfe, a noted natural foods expert. He says Cacao (the raw bean) is actually one of the great weight loss foods because it contains an abundance of minerals, such as magnesium, iron and chromium, that appear to shut off the appetite.
Debra Waterhouse, a registered dietician who 15 years ago wrote Why Women Need Chocolate: Eat What You Crave to Look Good & Feel Great also thinks chocolate should be part of a woman’s diet, but for other reasons. As she explained in her book: "Women do need chocolate as well as other foods high in starch, sugar and fat to stabilize moods, control weight and revitalize well being. Food cravings are Mother Nature’s way of informing us that we need to eat a specific food in order to look and feel great."
Waterhouse conducted a survey with more than 600 respondents to explore food cravings in men and women. She found that 76% of women were more likely to crave chocolate (over crackers, ice cream and candy). She used that information to create a diet plan called the “ON Plan” (Optimal Nutrition for Mind and Body) that was based on these five principles:
- Trust your female food cravings
- Discover your female pleasure foods
- Learn how to eat for maximum satisfaction
- Distribute your food to maximize mood
- Follow your optimal eating routine.
So even though her book and diet plan are more than a decade old, this might be just the diet plan you’ve been looking for. But don’t get carried away, she warned: ”Biological food cravings can be satisfied with surprisingly small amounts of foods. If you trust your food cravings, you can use them to balance your brain chemistry and moods…and you’ll be a happier person.”
So if you receive a box of chocolate today, enjoy it fully and without guilt. Just not the whole box in one sitting.
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